Remember that time when you were at a meeting and just could not manage to get connected to the projector or even the internet? That’s a scene which repeats itself in many meeting rooms. Yes, even in 2017.
Boole, a Bengaluru startup, has developed a one stop solution for this problem. It’s a device called Prijector, which acts as a video conferencing and connectivity hub. Prijector has been around for some time now, but is now getting a major upgrade.
The upgraded version is called Peasy. It looks a little bigger than a set-top-box and allows you to host a video conference and provide internet connectivity to the attendees. Boole has preinstalled major video conferencing apps from the likes of Polycom, Cisco Jabber, WebEx, Microsoft Lync, Skype and Google Hangouts into the device. All you need is a login access to the app you want to use, webcam, keyboard, mouse and internet and you are all set to host.
The company has just shipped the first batch of Peasy devices to early customers and it already has big names including Amazon, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Seagate as clients.
“Video conferencing is a huge part of how meeting rooms are used today and in that we are essentially focusing on the 6 to 8 people meeting rooms where price is still a factor. If you are looking at fairly large board rooms, you would probably look at a Cisco or a Polycom solution and we don’t want to play in that space,” says Coushik, who founded the company in 2013.
Peasy’s projector unit has 30,000 hrs of life and has all the functions of Prijector+ built-in. The device is also smart enough to give you alerts via email, like when it’s lamp is about to run out.
“We did not want to build our own video conferencing software because there are too many people doing that now; instead we’ve looked at the most popular video conferencing applications and ported it onto our platform,” says Coushik.
Boole has also developed an HD web camera with a 5 megapixel sensor, 135 degree field of view and built-in mic, called Hola, to use with Prijector+ or Peasy.
The company is also currently testing a 32 inch interactive touch-enabled display called Bobos that can also double up as a whiteboard aimed at home and small offices.
According to a 2016 report, web conferencing is a $2.4 billion market globally and is growing with more users moving from stand-alone audio solutions to web and video conferencing solutions. And one of the key factors driving this growth is lower price solutions.
Coushik is targeting smaller huddle rooms and conference rooms, for 6-8 people, where price is a factor and larger boardroom solutions from companies like Cisco and Polycom would be an overkill.
Currently the primary market for Prijector is the USA, where it counts many educational institutions, technology companies and law enforcement agencies amongst its clients. But the company is also pushing its market into India gradually and has partnered with Reddington for sales and distribution.
The company has been adopted by a large software service company in India to equip 250 of their meeting rooms with Prijector and Coushik says that they will further expand to 1000 rooms in the coming 6 months.
Hardware startups are hard to build in India. But not only does Boole have traction with customers, it has been completely bootstrapped. “We’ve not raised a single dime and we are profitable. This year we are looking to do about $6 million in sales with all the product lineup together,” he said.
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